‘Main source of heroin’ in Dane, Columbia counties arrested, sheriff says

$7,000 worth of heroin seized

A man believed to be supplying Dane and Columbia counties with heroin was arrested Wednesday in Columbia County.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said 41-year-old Joseph R. Thigpen, whom investigators “identified as a main source of heroin” to the area, was arrested after a controlled buy in a parking lot in rural Poynette. Nicholas K. Gordon, 23, of Madison, was also arrested.

During a monthlong drug investigation, officers said they worked undercover to make controlled buys of heroin from Thigpen. The officers bought drugs from the dealers in both Dane and Columbia counties, according to a news release.

During a subsequent search of Thigpen’s vehicle and Madison home, investigators said they found heroin, crack cocaine, Ecstasy, plastic bags, a digital scale, and cash. The sheriff’s office said the street value of the heroin recovered during the investigation was $7,000.

Thigpen was arrested on suspicion of three counts of delivery of heroin, felony possession with intent to deliver heroin and violation of probation. He also faces additional charges in Dane County. Thigpen was on both federal and state probation at the time of his arrest.

Gordon was arrested for delivery of heroin, officials said.

Thigpen and Gordon will make their initial appearances Monday in Columbia County Circuit Court, according to the release.